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Elton Stoneman
This is the *old* blog. The new one is at blog.sixeyed.com

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The first public beta of BizTalk Server 2009 was released yesterday, and fulfils expectations by falling in line with the 2008 server and development stack, and offering a few functional extras. I've had a quick run through of it and made some initial notes below. The MSBuild integration is interesting although I haven't got a good grasp yet on whether it will replace custom MSBuild tasks to aid deployment; apparently it works nicely with TFS, but I've yet to see what's on offer.

I've installed this in accordance with the installation instructions available with the beta download, running on Windows Server 2008 Standard + SQL Server 2008 Developer, with Office 2007, WSS 3.0 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1. I started from scratch with an empty VM as I wanted to try out VirtualBox (Sun's VM acquisition which has free personal use, commercial licensed and open source flavours) as Nick Heppleston's been championing it recently and it's impressive – so I finish with a few notes on that.

Installation

  • Same process as BTS 2006 – install pre-requisites, install BTS, configure BTS
  • I had issues with auto-downloading the pre-requisites, so I downloaded the cab separately from the link in the install doc (e.g. http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=81432 for 32-bit EN)
  • BAM and the SharePoint Adapter failed configuration, but I haven't investigated that yet

UDDI Services

  • A separate install option from the BTS setup.exe (as with RFID), following the install then configure model
  • Allows SQL Server instance for UDDI database to be specified (no more nasty hacking required to get the UDDI database on a remote SQL cluster)
  • UDDI Services are completely separate from BizTalk and have no integration with the BizTalk toolset (again, like RFID). A simple case of UDDI Services being bundled with the BTS product now rather than Windows Server
  • Very similar Web application and Web service interfaces are provided
  • New notification/subscription mechanism to register for alerts on changes to UDDI entries
  • Extended command tools provided – including a migration tool (presumably to migrate from UDDI Services 2003)

BizTalk Administration Console

  • Most noticeable difference is that the UI loads asynchronously now, so the lists are populated piecemeal rather than blocking the UI while the whole list is loaded – makes for a much more responsive feel
  • The artifact folders now have nice icons:

  • Still can't delete default application "BizTalk Application 1"

MSBuild

  • BTPROJ files are now in MSBuild format
  • Specific tasks to compile individual artifacts – XlangTask, SchemaCompiler, MapperCompiler, PipelineCompilerTask
    • In Developer Tools\Microsoft.VisualStudio.BizTalkProject.BuildTasks.dll
  • Tasks referenced in .btproj via BizTalkC.targets and BizTalkCommon.targets
    • Built in two passes, first pass builds: schemas, maps, pipelines; second pass builds orchestrations
  • VSDEPLOY output shown in Deploy from VS
    • Deployment properties (application name, BTS database and server) held in BTPROJ.USER file

Visual Studio 2008

  • BizTalk projects currently shown with C# project icon (presumably to change)
  • Artifact designers and generators unchanged (that I can see)
  • Project Properties are now in standard VS format
    • Additional Deployment tab for specific BTS settings
    • Signing now standard with New/Add key file (no more ..\..\..\)
  • CodeAnalysis can be run within Visual Studio for BizTalk projects
    • No specific BizTalk rules (potential for integrating BizTalkCop to Visual Studio)
    • If you enable analysis & exclude generated code, the BizTalk generated code still triggers warnings
    • You can run code metrics – although it includes generated code (an empty orchestration has 114 lines of code and a cyclomatic complexity of 50…)
  • Performance of the IDE is much better, in line with .NET development in VS 2008
  • Maps still run off compiled schema references, so a change in schema needs a recompile before the map reflects the change

     

Health and Activity Tracking

  • According to the release notes, HAT is no more: "The stand-alone Health and Activity Tracking (HAT) tool has been removed from BizTalk Server 2009"
  • The exe is still installed, but there's no shortcut to it on the Start menu and the exe won't run without the right parameters being passed
  • HAT is still mentioned in the Help documentation – although that's stated as subject to change

VirtualBox

  • Very performant, fast to use and to save & restore state
  • Reliable, intuitive, has some nice touches (recording a list of mapped ISO images is handy)
  • Differencing disk model is unusual – you can take snapshots and "merge" the disk by deleting earlier snapshots, but there's no obvious way of building a cumulative stack of differenced disks
  • No drag/drop integration with Windows which would have been good for file copying
  • Folder share approach (defines network share accessed as \\vbsrv\folderName) different from VPC; shares don't show in explorer, but this is more scalable (no drives mapped) and is a usable approach

So a very positive response for VirtualBox (especially as the open source version has the majority of the functionality from the other versions), slightly more muted for BTS 2009 which isn't providing any great leaps forward. The ESB Guidance 2.0 alpha is also out and has an interesting list of changes and additions, so I'll post a first look on that soon.

 

UPDATE: Richard Seroter's published a similar first look here; he's picked up on additional enhancements, so worth a look.

Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12:11 AM BizTalk 2009 , VirtualBox | Back to top


Comments on this post: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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Great article, this has to be the single best article online.. thanks for a great blog!
Left by disk backup-547 on Apr 26, 2010 9:46 AM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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I am following your blog regularly and got great information.Having written articles that require this much work.I really appreciate it.Thanks.Hope will come up with more.
Left by affittacamere Lucca on Jun 02, 2010 5:34 AM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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Much better icons on the BizTalk Server 2009 than previous version (i'm such a girl I know spotting these things!)
Left by virtual assistant on Jul 02, 2010 2:38 PM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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This was a very well-written and enjoyable post to read.I like the way you describe all the things and the examples.Thanks a lot.Keep blogging.
Left by data backup solutions599 on Jul 08, 2010 3:02 AM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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Did you find this useful? I never got into it myself.
Left by Daily Forex Trading on Nov 16, 2010 8:46 AM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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For sure bizserver 2009 was a good release, helped me out no end.
Left by Search Engine Optimisation on Nov 16, 2010 8:47 AM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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Did anyone find out a way so that code analysis does not run on the biztalk generated code? I am having all sorts of problems with warnings as errors set to true (5000 + errors on *.xsd.cs)
Left by TomoLondon on Feb 25, 2011 10:52 AM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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BizTalk Server 2009 is Microsoft's core enterprise connectivity solution, which releases on a schedule of every two years. This includes powerful, familiar tools to design, develop, deploy, and manage those processes.
Left by article submissions on Mar 25, 2011 3:42 AM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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I tried to install Windows XP on a Virtual Box but it keeps crashing. And I don't know how to repair XP without CD.
Left by How to Repair Windows XP on Apr 29, 2011 4:56 PM

# re: BizTalk Server 2009 Public Beta: First Look
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I got positive response too after I'm applying your public beta. This is really work for my biztalk.
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